NSF EPSCoR: Powering the Kentucky Bioeconomy for a Sustainable Future (Mark Scope)

Grants and Contracts Details


The mission of the Kentucky Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research RII Track-1 (NSF KY EPSCoR) program, entitled "Powering the Kentucky Bioeconomy for a Sustainable Future," is to address commercial and technological challenges that currently impede the emergence of a robust economy based upon adoption of new technology and sustainable practices in energy, agriculture, and the environment, in alignment with state and national strategic plans. National Science Foundation (NSF) funding of the KY EPSCoR will enable statewide collaboration across the fields of chemistry, biology, physics and engineering to confront the 'Green Grand Challenge' through transformative scientific research and an increasingly larger and diverse STEM- educated workforce. We propose a Research and Education program that will drive growth of the emerging bioeconomy through expansion of the state's Science and Innovation Infrastructure to stimulate the advancement of scientific knowledge in three research areas identified and prioritized because of their potential to shift the economics of sustainable energy, and bioengineered products and applications, toward profitability. In the research universities, national laboratories and technology companies across the nation, massive research investments have focused on cellulosic biomass, carbohydrate chemistry, and biofuel production, with the goal of shifting from corn-based material to low-grade, non-food biomass, including wood, grasses, waste materials, and agricultural residues. We suggest that cost effective chemical separations and processing methods represent the single greatest challenge in the transition to a sustainable energy bioeconomy. Armed with advanced technological capabilities in nanotechnology, synthetic biology, biomass engineering, and recent knowledge of exciting new biomass-derived electrochemical materials, we will address key technology gaps that, together with a technology savvy workforce, will accelerate the Commonwealth of Kentucky's transition to a knowledge-based bioeconomy.
Effective start/end date8/1/157/31/19


  • National Science Foundation


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